The Anchoress Defends The Miers Nomination | Main | Miers In Law School
October 03, 2005

Bush's Big Boner

You know where Bush screwed up? He screwed up by nominating Judge Roberts as Chief Justice.

First of all, a Chief Justice has not terribly much power on the court. His vote counts the same as any other justice. A Chief Justice is considered the senior Justice in any opinion he joins, and thus gets to choose which Justice will write the opinion (or the dissent, as the case may be) or if he himself will write it.

There's some power there, but not a lot. It's not like he gets two votes or can break a tie. The rest of his repsonsibilities are administrative in nature.

By nominating Roberts as Chief Justice, he made him a replacement for Rehnquist, rather than for Sandra Day O'Connor, as was originally planned. The thing is, Roberts could easily have been confirmed as O'Connor's replacement, and he was more conservative than her (if only by a bit) to boot. That would have allowed Bush a free hand to nominate a strong, unabashed conservative for Rehnquist's spot, as in that case he would have just been swapping one strong conservative for another.

Had he not nominated Roberts for CJ then, he would have replaces a very squishy semi-"conservative" with a more dependable conservative. And then he could have nominated a Scalia-type to replace Rehnquist. Net result: the court moves to the right.

But as it is, he has replaced Rehnquist with someone who is less of a conservative (or so it seems; who knows, really, given what little anyone knows about Roberts' actual judicial philosophy) and is replacing O'Connor with what seems to be an O'Connor clone.

Net result: the court moves slightly to the left.

Roberts was golden. Roberts could not be defeated, even as a swap for the liberalish O'Connor. Roberts was in like a tasseled-loafers Flynn.

Bush wasted that nomination, the replacement of O'Connor with someone who would (hopefully) be more consistently conservative than she was (especially late in her career, as she "evolved"), by offering him instead as a replacement for the definitely-conservative Rehnquist.

Stupid. He took a victory on Roberts and turned it into a loss.

And now he's forced to nominate a cipher whose chief qualifications for the job seem to be her "loyalty" to Bush and her gender.

I'd've preferred someone with loyalty to the Constitution. And I'm ambivalent about what sort of genetalia she sports.

The Anchoress says that Bush is "playing chess." I'm sorry, but I'm beginning to think the man couldn't successfully master Connect Four.

Not so Bad? Stop the ACLU notes that Pat Robertson's ACLJ (a conservative-tilting advocacy organization) supports Miers.

Conservative journalist Tim Carney notes:

In 1993, after the ABA had voted to adopt a pro-choice stance, the State Bar of Texas, under Miers’ leadership, fought to have the issue put to a vote of the full ABA membership. She said:
“If we were going to take a position on this divisive issue, the members should have been able to vote.”

In favor of democracy on the issue of abortion? Let’s hope she carries that through.

Thanks for the last to the Blogometer, who has, of course, links aplenty on reactions to the nomination.

Too Much Stuff: Katherine Ham of Wizbang! has more, including the now-famous donation to Al Gore in 1988.

Let me defend Miers on this point. In 1988, Al Gore seemed like one of the few truly-centrist Democrats running for office. In yet another embarassing revelation (worse than that bit about kissing George Clooney in a dream), I'll note that I myself supported Al "Primary Juggernaut" Gore in 1988. I was still a Democrat then, but looking for someone to rescue the party from its liberal/anti-military/anti-business posture. So, yeah-- in 1988, Ace of Spades was an enthusiastic Gore supporter, at least until he got squished by a bug midway through the primaries.

Hey, he was up against the charimsatic and bold Michael Dukakis. Poor guy never had a chance.

Correction! I originally wrote that the ACLJ was a Pat Robertson organization (it was the first hit when I googled it). There is an ACLJ run by Pat Robertson, but the American Center for Law & Justice, which has announced its support for Miers, is an entirely different "ACLJ" and not affiliated with Pat Robertson at all.

I apologize for the sloppy research. And I thank Stop the ACLU for correcting me.


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posted by Ace at 03:01 PM

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